Archive for the ‘Public Relations/Marketing’ Category



Don’t Make This Video Marketing Mistake

Don’t Make This Video Marketing MistakeMarketing videos can be a fantastic way to promote your company, product or service. Here are a few statistics in case you need convincing:

  • Video shared on social media generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined
  • 74% of millennials find video helpful when comparison shopping
  • 4 times as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it

So we’re in agreement – video can be an awesome part of a marketing strategy. However, it has to be executed effectively. Now, I’m not talking about the actual creation of the video. We’ll leave that to experts like Tony Gnau. I’m talking about what happens after you create the video. You upload it to YouTube, maybe put it on your website—and then what?

Don’t make this mistake

Here’s where the mistake commonly happens. Companies will invest money into creating a great marketing video, upload it to YouTube, and expect the magic to happen from there. However, just like any marketing strategy, it’s simply not enough just to create the video itself. You also need to make sure your target audience (your customers and prospective customers) see it. You need to promote it. There are so many ways you can do this, so I’ll share just a few ideas below.

Place it prominently on your website

Depending on your video content, you may want to put it on your Home page, About Us page, Testimonials page, Services/Products page, etc. It may make sense to go on more than one page as well, and that’s okay too.

Announce your new video

If you send out a periodic newsletter or other email updates, include your new video in your next email message. This email could go to current customers, prospective customers, or both. Make sure when you send your email, you don’t just say “Check out our cool new video!” but instead give the recipient a reason to watch it. Here are a few examples:

  • “Get a behind-the-scenes peek at our company in our latest video!”
  • “Based on your past purchases, I thought our newest product would interest you. Check out this short video to learn more.”

Use your social media channels

Again, you shouldn’t just share it once on your Facebook page and be done. Make a plan to share your new video multiple times across your social networks when it’s new, and also remember to periodically share it when it’s not new anymore for those who didn’t see it the first time. Consider opportunities to put your video on a social page longer term, such as the ability to add media to your LinkedIn profile or the option to pin posts to the top of your Facebook page.

Incorporate your video into other marketing initiatives

Once you have a corporate marketing video, it’s a great opportunity to use within other marketing initiatives and campaigns. You could include in a prospecting email campaign, use as part of a digital advertising campaign, include in your latest blog, put a link in your email signature or many other possibilities to make it a part of your company’s overall marketing plan.

aliciaAlicia Olsen is the owner of Olsen Marketing Solutions, a full-service marketing firm offering marketing strategy and planning, web design, copywriting, social media management and more.

Creating Emotional Marketing Videos

Creating Emotional Marketing Videos

We’re honored that another T60 video has been selected for a Telly Award, and in this case we’re even more excited because the video provides a great lesson for anyone creating a business video. It’s a case study for creating an emotional marketing video.

About Awards

The main reason we enter videos for awards is to provide our clients and prospects with proof that we do good work. It’s one thing for us to be proud of our work, it’s another thing when someone else in your industry gives you their stamp of approval.

Beyond all of that… I love telling the clients when it’s their video that has won. Their reaction is priceless.

Normally, it happens via email or a phone call, and they immediately post it on social media. This year… I got to share the good news in-person.

We had a shoot scheduled at LSS of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, and it happened to coincide with finding out one of the videos we produced for them last year won a Telly Award.

Their reaction: surprise… raised eyebrows… open mouths… big smiles… then a question: “What’s a Telly Award?”

What Are The Telly Awards?

The Telly Awards are basically the Emmy Awards for the non-broadcast/online video world. They do have broadcast categories as well, but for us corporate video producers the Telly is our big award. It’s the one we’re all hoping to win.

T60 has now won 13 Telly Awards… but who’s counting? The latest winning video promotes one of LSS’s adoption programs. I’m excited it took home a trophy because it’s actually a video I blogged about as a good example of how-to do better testimonial videos, but it also provides another lesson.

Emotional Marketing Videos

One of the big messages I try to drive home with clients revolves around a simple premise. Video isn’t about facts and figures. Video is about emotion.

Our goal for virtually all the videos we produce is to help the audience connect with the business emotionally. In most cases, the emotional or feeling we’re going for is confidence. We want viewers to finish watching the video feeling confident in that company’s ability to deliver.

Every once in a while though… we get to tap big emotions. Emotions that will make people laugh or cry. If you can manage to get people to laugh while watching a marketing video, you’ve hit a home run. Get them to cry… it’s a grand slam.

Tears Inspire Tears

One of the ways to inspire tears is by getting the video’s participants to cry themselves. Tears tend to be contagious. Viewers who watch people get emotional, share those same emotions. It’s an incredible way to build a connection with an audience.

Yes… working in video production might be one of the few jobs where you get excited about making someone else cry. That’s what we went after with the LSS video.

Speaking with the participants on the day of the shoot, I knew we had a chance. It’s an emotional story. It tugs heart strings. As the person who was going to conduct the interviews, I was prepared to do my best to ask questions and engage people in a way that would get them to cry.

It took some effort, but I cracked them… and that’s a good thing. They opened their hearts, and in doing so the audience connects with them. For a not-for-profit organization like LSS that relies on donations, a story like this is crucial.

Winning Harts and Minds

The video has been shared on social media. It’s been shown in churches. It’s been used in meetings. Tears all around. The video has become a source of inspiration for struggling, pregnant women to consider adoption. It’s helping LSS raise money.

That’s the power of video. Forget your facts and figures. Logic will not build a connection with your audience. Emotion is the way to win hearts and minds.

–Tony Gnau

The Star Wars Marketing Video Strategy

The Star Wars Marketing Video StrategyUnless your head has been buried in the Tatooine sand, you’re probably aware that Star Wars: The Force Awakens is opening this month. As someone who works in PR and marketing, the movie’s promotion a case study on how to execute a smart marketing video strategy.

Yup, I’m a Nerd

Okay, let’s get this out of the way… full disclosure… I’m a big Star Wars geek. As I told my wife when we first started dating, I don’t have a storm trooper costume in my closet… but I’m still a big nerd.

I can quote the original movie (A New Hope) word-for-word. Want to know the ID number for the storm trooper guarding the Millennium Falcon? TK-421. It should also be noted that I could have chosen any number of schools for college. I picked USC, George Lucas’ alma mater. I have big time Star Wars geek cred.

Case Study: marketing video strategy

Now that I’ve come clean, let’s get to it because the folks at LucasFilm and Disney have provided everyone with a terrific example of how to launch something. In this case, they’re launching a movie. However, this can work just as well for anyone launching a new company, brand, product, service… you name it.

The trap many people fall into when creating their launch strategy is including a video. You read that right. They include a video… and they shouldn’t.

Instead, the plan should include multiple videos!

Don’t get me wrong, if there’s only enough money in the marketing budget for a single video, go for it. But before you do, check with a video pro. You might be able to stretch that budget and create more than one, and here’s why you want to do that.

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More videos, more connected

It’s a T60 video truth… the more videos people watch, the more connected they become. If you create multiple videos for your launch, you’re giving people an opportunity to connect with whatever you’re launching before it’s even out.

The videos are also a great way to build anticipation. The Force Awakens is a perfect example. Just look at the trailers.

Star Wars Video Breakdown

The first teaser was released a year ago and was about a minute and half long. Basically, all it did was give us a glimpse at a few of the characters involved and some of the iconic Star Wars imagery.

The second Star Wars teaser was released a few months later and revealed a little more. This one is about two minutes long. Again, we got some character introductions, and we also received a few hints about the plot.

Finally, the official trailer was released just a couple of months ago. It expanded on the plot, but it didn’t give anything away.

See what they’re doing? How they’re revealing things little by little? A slow trickle of information, allowing anticipation to rise.

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You can do it too

Think about your own launch strategy. Surely you want to build anticipation. Whether you produce a few videos  or just a couple, it can work the same way.

Your first launch video can be short, 30-45 seconds, simply giving people a snap shot of what’s to come. The next one should be a little longer and more in-depth, giving people a better look.

It works because video is the medium that allows people to see and hear about what’s new. Text can’t do that. Photos can’t do it either. Video is the next best thing to experiencing something in-person.

More, please

The Star Wars video launch campaign goes well beyond the trailers. Along the way they’ve released a video taking people behind-the-scenes of the film’s making, as well as videos promoting a contest to be at the official movie premiere.

It’s all good… wetting the pallet of every Star Wars geek like me.

That’s how you launch something. Your new company, brand, product, service… using multiple videos to build anticipation will lead to a successful launch.

–Tony Gnau

Best Brands Video Lesson

Best Brands Video LessonBuilding a brand isn’t easy. As a matter of fact it’s flat-out difficult, but one of the things I find interesting is how the biggest and best companies are using video to build their brands.

We’re lucky to have a brand building expert like Prophet as a client, and I’ve learned a lot from them. Every shoot is like a mini-session on the subject. It has allowed me to look at top companies and get a better understanding of how they’re using video.

The first thing I’ve learned, and the one I’d like to focus on here, is the simple fact that top brands use video. Whether it’s a name brand everyone knows, or a small brand in a niche market. They’re using video to better their brands, and you can too.

Video is amazing because it works for three important things you need to establish a quality brand.

Building Awareness

A brand can’t stay in business much less become a household name if customers don’t know about it. Video shines a light on a brand.

Video can be used to launch a new business, product, or service. Video gets people’s attention. And in today’s social world, video becomes something they can share with their friends, family, and colleagues.

It’s one thing to write about a brand or talk about a brand. It’s something altogether more powerful to be able to show someone something about a brand.

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Building Credibility

One of the best attributes of video is how it can help build trust. Trust in people, trust in brands, the more videos a person watches about a business, the more they’ll begin to trust it.

Why? Because video is personal. These aren’t words on a page, video provides thoughts and ideas expresses by real people. Viewers are able to build a connection with those people, helping them feel good about the company.

Couple that with a good customer experience and you have trust.

Building Loyalty

Once people are aware and trust the brand, video is a great way to keep them feeling good about the brand. Video reassures their feelings.

New products, new services, community outreach… they’re all ripe areas for videos that keep customers interested and feeling loyal to the brand.

Apple does this. They use videos to perfection. Videos that make customers aware of new products. Videos that build trust in those products and ultimately maintain the brand and build loyalty.

But it’s not just mega brands like Apple. DollarShaveClub.com started with a single video to create awareness. It was so successful it launched the company into a real competition with industry giants like Gillette and Schick.

That’s what we can all learn from top brands. Video works, no matter how big the brand.

–Tony Gnau

How-to Do Better Testimonial Videos

How-to Do BetterTestimonial VideosTestimonials are a time-tested way to inspire trust and creditability in a company, brand, product, or service. It’s the reason why I encourage our clients to create testimonial videos, and I am on a quest to help organizations do them better.

That’s because many companies do them on the cheap, without any creativity behind them. They’re uninspired.

How not to do testimonial videos

The videos I’m referring to are the simple kind you’ve seen on websites everywhere. They feature someone on-camera singing the praises of a company. That’s it… just them on-camera. A head-and-shoulders shot with no other video to support them. The testimonial typically runs for several minutes. Who wants to watch that?

Ugg… what a wasted opportunity. Some businesses run shorter versions, maybe about a minute long. That’s not bad, but even these testimonials could be so much better.

What they need… desperately need… is a story. It’s not enough to stick someone on-camera and have them give a testimonial. There has to be a story.It's not enough to stick someone on-camera and have them give a testimonial. There has to be a story. Click To Tweet

Sometimes businesses will have the person giving the testimonial tell a story about their experience with the company. Okay… that’s a start, but even in these cases the videos lack appeal. They’re boring.

The reason why is not everyone is a natural storyteller. Beyond that… someone simply telling a story on-camera is leaving out other things video can provide to enhance their story.

Producing a video means you can add additional video or images to bolster what the person is saying. You can use editing to make the story more succinct and create pacing. And maybe best of all, you can add music to set the mood. Most of the testimonials I watch online are missing all of these things.

Will producing a quality video like this that tells a good story increase your video production cost? Probably, but I’ll add probably not as much as you might expect. Ask yourself this question, is it better to spend less on a video nobody will pay attention to or to pay more for a video they’ll watch and enjoy?

Case Study

These things have been on my mind lately because we recently produced a terrific testimonial for one of our clients. It turned out so well they immediately signed-up to produce another one.

Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan wanted a video to promote its open adoption program. They decided a testimonial from people who have used the program would be the best way to do it.

LSS could have taken the easy path… put the people on-camera… have them talk about how wonder LSS is, have them explain the process, talk about how helpful and encouraging everyone was… blah.

Don’t get me wrong… that’ all true… but LSS’s leaders had a better vision. They wanted to share the emotional experience of adoption, and video is all about tapping emotions.

Instead of simple praise for LSS and details on how the program works, they wanted viewers to feel how LSS is changing lives.

I won’t go into details on the story itself, you should just watch it. Instead, what I’d like to point out is how many times LSS is mentioned in the video. The organization is mentioned twice… that’s it.

There are different ways to do testimonial videos. One can focus squarely on your business. I’ve produced this type myself for T60. But the other way to create a testimonial is to center the attention on the person or organization providing the testimonial, which is exactly what we helped LSS do.

The entire video centers on the birth mother and the mother and father who adopted the baby. It’s a terrific story, and while LSS is barely mentioned the message is clear: LSS made this wonderful union happen. It’s the organization that brought these people together. It’s a powerful testimonial without at all feeling sales-y.

Testimonial Balancing Act

Maybe you’re a bit nervous about this whole approach. I mean… you might be thinking… the company receiving the testimonial only gets mentioned twice?! My boss would never go for that!

Trust me… I get it. Even if your company leaders won’t be on-board with that method, it is possible to balance telling the customer’s story with how your company helped them.

In a video we produced for Cayan, we start and end the video by focusing on Cayan’s customer, but the middle is all about Cayan and how they solved a problem.

The important thing is to at least start the story focused on the customer. You want to establish a connection between the customer being featured and the person watching the video. You want the viewer empathizing with that customer’s pain point.

Then, when your company jumps in to help, the viewer will be open to your solution… and your company.

New Testimonial videos for T60

I believe in this type of testimonial so much, I’m in the process of putting it to work for my own business. I really like our current testimonial. I think it does a great job of showing people what it’s like working with T60, but the next series of testimonials I’m working on take the other approach.

They won’t be emotional in the same way as the LSS video… nobody is going to breakdown crying or anything. Instead, the emotion I’m going for is confidence. I want people to watch our testimonials and feel confident in our ability to tell great stories and provide value to their organization.

Each of the testimonials will feature one of our clients. They’ll talk a little about what they do and how they value video. There will be a brief mention of how we’re their video partners, but we want the focus to be on them. In a way, we hope it turns out to be just as good a promotion for them and their business as it is for us.

There’s nothing wrong with focusing the testimonial on your business, but it’s not the only way to do it either. If you’re worried about your testimonial coming of too sales-y, give this customer-centered approach a try.

–Tony Gnau

FOLLOW-UP!

Well… we took our own advice. We’ve produced a pair of testimonials so far, and we already have another in the can and ready to edit. Feel free to check them out on our Home page as well as our About Us page.

One features Gini Dietrich, CEO of Arment Dietrich PR agency and founder of SpinSucks.com. The other is from Andy Crestodina, CMO of Orbit Media Studios.

If you’re in PR and/or marketing, these are people you should be following. They’re frequently keynotes at communications conferences all over the nation and their content is awesome!

5 Ways Football Is Like Marketing Video

5 Ways FootballI can hardly contain myself. Football season has finally arrived. Whether you’re into the NFL, college, high school… heck… Pop Warner, it’s great having it back.
As the season kicks-off, it has me thinking a bit. Football and marketing videos have some things in common.
Stick with me here… it’s true. I happen to be an expert on both subjects.
I’m an award-winning video producer, and I played some football as well. I was one of the least physically talented players on my college team, but my football IQ was right there at the top of the class.
So… here are five ways football and video are similar.

Popularity

First and foremost, both are extremely popular. Millions of people will tune-in to watch some football this fall.
Likewise, millions will log-in to watch web videos, and many of these videos will be marketing videos.

Emotion

Is there any question people feel passionately about their team? About how they feel about their players? How about the opposing team and players? People are called fans (fanatics) for a reason.
Video is all about emotion. It isn’t about facts and figures. Video provides companies and brands a way to emotionally connect with an audience.

Loyalty

All that emotion leads to loyalty. Football fans will stick with their teams through thick and thin. As a Bears fan, we’ve been suffering a lot over the last few years.
On the video side, I’ll use one of my favorite quotes from Andy Crestodina at Orbit Media Studios, “Video equals trust.”
The more people watch your videos, the more they begin to trust you. The more they trust you, the more loyal they become.

Shareable

Both football and videos inspire people to share them. Take a look at what’s trending on social media after a big football game. The game itself, players, something that happened on or off the field… football will be trending. Fans of a given team will connect and share their common experience.
Video won’t be outdone. A well-produced video can catch fire with an audience and spread all over the globe.
You don’t need a viral video either. A video shared with a small, targeted audience can be just as effective.

Dollars

After watching their favorite player score the winning touchdown, people will part with their hard-earned money to buy his jersey.
Similarly, many will watch a series of content marketing videos, begin to trust a brand, and ultimately use that same hard-earned money to purchase products or services.
There you have it. Football and video… they’re practically the same thing.
Hut, hut!

Cost of Video Production: getting more bang for your buck

Prophet equationBusiness leaders who want to produce a video often have grand plans. They want the video to contain a lot of this and that. We need “this” to be in the video. “That’s” something else that needs to be in the video. “This and that” frequently adds up to too much information. Not to mention it can add to the cost of video production. This is why I usually tell clients they don’t need “a” video. Instead, they need a “series” of videos.

Learning From Pros

Let’s take a lesson from one of our clients. A big perk of being a video producer is you get to work with some amazing companies and learn from the people who make them great. I’ve been behind the scenes at United Airlines, I’ve seen how Goose Island brews its beers, and I have the Batphone number for the world’s busiest PR/marketing/digital communications expert Gini Dietrich.

Over the past year, I’ve been doing a lot of work for Prophet. The company is all about business growth strategy. We’ve produced a lot of thought leadership content for them, but our most recent project was a series of straight-up marketing videos and they serve as a great example of video marking done right.

What Not To Do

As I mentioned at the start, business leaders tend to have big plans for their marketing video. They want to include goods and services, the company’s history, feature employees, et cetera… and that’s all great.

In many cases, it’s just too much information, which is a good way to ruin a corporate video. Sure, we could churn out a 5-minute video that includes everything, but in my experience viewers aren’t going to watch it all unless you have one amazing story to tell.

Which is why I recommend breaking-up all of that content in shorter videos and packaging them as a series. Audiences are far more likely to watch if they can select a topic that interests them, and watch a short video instead of clicking on one giant video and waiting for the material they’re most interested in.

It also happens to be a great way to get additional value for the cost of video production. If you were planning to pay for a 5-minute video, you can produce two or three shorter videos for the same cost.

Breaking down a long video idea into a series of short videos provides more value for your marketing budget. Click To Tweet

How You Can Profit From Prophet’s Plan

Now, it’s one thing to hear that from me… your friendly neighborhood video producer. It’s another thing entirely to see it put into practice by a world-class business consultancy packed with marketing experts.

Enter Prophet. The company’s client list is a who’s who of the Fortune 500. They know how to grow businesses, including their own company.

The video series we just finished for them is a classic example. It takes “too much” information for a single video, and divides it up into an effective series.

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Let’s break it down. What Prophet does is help grow businesses, and they do this in three core areas:

If they were like a lot of companies, that would be their marketing video. They would create a single video highlighting each of those pillars.

The problem is they have a lot to say about each of those things. A single video could run 6-8 minutes. That’s too long.

Instead, Prophet’s team decided to make each one of those components its own video, creating a series about what they do. Each is also paired with online written content as well.

Remember, video isn’t about information. Video is about emotion.  So… you get to feel Prophet’s passion through the videos, and get the detailed information from the written content (links to all three in the bullets above).

Makes Sense?

This is how it’s done. You hook people with the emotion… the passion… and back it up with the facts.

Again, I get to work with/for some pretty amazing people, and this is one we can all learn from. Turning a long video into a series provides better value for the cost of video production, and it gives you additional content to boot.

Take it from the pros at Prophet.

–Tony Gnau

3 Ways To Ruin A Corporate Video

3 Ways To Ruin A Corporate VideoVideo is becoming more and more popular with marketers and PR pros. Done the right way, research tells us how affective it can be. Done the wrong way, it can waste time and money so let’s look at some common mistakes to avoid when producing a corporate video.

Video Length

Outside of video production cost, this is the number one question I get from clients. How long should our video run?

The first mistake here is thinking there’s a perfect length for your video… there isn’t. The quality of your storytelling is more important than the video’s length. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 runs an hour and a half. Braveheart runs three hours. ‘Nough said.

Video length is less about a golden rule and more about the audience. Who is your audience and where are they going to watch the video?

Is your audience the general public? Are you going to use this video in a social media campaign? If so, the video should be shorter (about 1-minute or less) because you’re pushing it at viewers who probably have a short attention span.

Is your video intended for professionals seeking out information about your business at your website? If that’s the case you have more leeway. I typically shoot for 2-minutes or less, but I’m even okay with stretching it to 3-4 minutes if the story is good.

If the video is for a captive audience at an event of some sort you could go even longer, but remember it’s all about the quality of your storytelling. You shouldn’t make a longer video just because you can. Tell the best story possible.

An audience can tune-out a boring message no matter where they’re watching the video.

Bad Audio

This one falls under the DIY category or “boy, did we hire the wrong video ‘pro.'” Many people think of video in terms of visuals… as they should. But really, audio is equally as important.

Just about everyone has an HD video camera (aka your smartphone) capable of shooting beautiful images. Audio takes more skill and some better equipment, and it separates the pros from the amateurs.

At best, poor audio holds back a good video from being great. At worst, people immediately tune-out. Think about all the bad videos you’ve watched and clicked away from almost immediately. In many cases, I’m sure it’s because it sounded bad.

Bad audio is a barometer for a bad video.

If the person shooting your video is interviewing people with nothing but the microphone attached to the camera, it’s a pretty good sign your audio is going to be lacking.

Too Many Details

This is the most important message I talk with clients about. Video isn’t about facts and figures. Video is about emotion.

I get it. You’re producing a corporate video and you have all sorts of information you want to share with people.

Stop right there. While video is certainly for communicating, it isn’t the right medium for tons of information. That’s what your website is for.

With video, we’re more interested in how people feel after having seen it than we are what they learned.

Think about how valuable that can be for your organization. It’s one thing to provide people with information about a product, service, or company. It’s something else entirely if you can get them to feel good about those things.

When people feel good about something, they’re more likely to buy. That’s why storytelling is so important. Don’t just pack your video with facts and figures. Tell a story that your audience can connect with.

BONUS Mistake… Making a DIY Corporate Video

This should go without saying, but I’ve had too many people ask about it not to mention it. Producing a corporate video is not a do-it-yourself endeavor.

Yes… I’m a video pro, so it only makes sense that I would give this advice. But believe it or not, there are times I advocate DIY videos. However, in most cases, hiring a professional is the way to go.

There’s one main reason to do this: your reputation is on the line. You are producing a video and sending it out into the world to be watched. Everyone who sees it is going to form an opinion about you. It’s crucial you put your best foot forward.

Your video could very well be someone’s first impression of you. Do you want to trust that opportunity to Ted in HR or Susan in accounting because they like editing their home movies?

Nobody at your company is going to be able to produce a video as effective as one created by a professional. Even if someone in-house has a decent background in shooting and editing… are they a good storyteller?

Video production is more than HD video and knowing your way around Final Cut Pro. It’s about knowing how to use stories to tap emotion. That’s why it’s better to put corporate videos into the hands of someone who has devoted their professional life to honing that skill.

Wrapping it up

The bad news… these are all mistakes people fall prey to when producing their corporate videos. The good news… they’re all avoidable.

Make sure the video pro you pick to work with is thinking about these things during the project.

–Tony Gnau

Planning Is Key To Paying For Video

Scott Davis Chief Growth Officer Prophet (client)

Scott Davis
Chief Growth Officer
Prophet (client)

BrandSmart is one of my favorite marketing events every year. The Chicago chapter of the American Marketing Association brings in some real heavyweights to talk about their branding success stories, and it’s a day that inspires all sorts of ideas. However, my BrandSmart 2015 takeaway is a little different.

As a ChicagoAMA sponsor, I get to attend and take in everything the speakers have to offer just like everyone attending. Not surprising, many of my past takeaways have centered on how brands are using video. This year was a little different though.

Conversation Starter

My biggest takeaway came from a conversation I had with ChicagoAMA board member, Tom Jacobs. Tom will be the board president next year, and he runs the Jacobs Agency in Chicago. We were talking about how video has exploded over the last few years, and how my job of marketing T60 has changed with it. The conversation included an important message for PR and marketing professionals.

See… when I first started out, the biggest marketing job I had was simply convincing business leaders they should be producing videos. Ten years ago… that was a tough sell as they listened to their dial-up modems. My pitch was that online video was going to grow as internet speeds increase, and you (the business leader) need to be on the ground floor producing videos as this takes place.

In a lot of cases… crickets. Not many people bought it.

Flash forward to now and barely a day goes by without all of us watching some sort of online video.

Hence… my pitch has changed. I no longer have to convince business leaders they should be producing videos. They all want to do it, they just don’t want to pay for them.

Let me rephrase that… they think producing videos will be too expensive.

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The Truth About Video Production Cost

One of my biggest hurdle is helping them understand the value of video. In most cases there’s no need to sped $20-grand on a production.

Our typical video costs about $6,000, and we work hard to ensure that, whatever the price point, we’re delivering a video that’s going to connect with viewers. Something that’s going to provide a great first impression for that business. A video that has the potential to touch several prospects and make them more open to doing business with that company.

Here’s where PR and marketing pros come in. A big reason many of these business leaders don’t produce video is that video is never planned for in their marketing strategy. What I have found is that video tends to be an add-on once the marketing plan is well underway.

In other words, the marketing budget has been spent and now they’re trying to figure out a way to add video. Throw-in the misperception of how much video production costs, and many people just chuck the idea at that point.

Plan When Paying For Video

My message here for PR and marketing pros is that video should be a part of your strategy for businesses from the get-go. If it’s included as part of the plan from the start, the cost doesn’t tend to be as big of an issue. Instead, it’s a line item in the greater marketing budget.

This is key because, again, business leaders typically no longer need to be sold on video. Many of them would love to produce videos for their business, so don’t let it get lost in the shuffle as you’re preparing your marketing strategy pitch.

blog quoteIf you’re putting together a plan and don’t know how much a series of videos will cost, get a few producers to give you a ballpark estimate. We do them all the time and are happy to explain how-to figure out video production cost. That way you can simply incorporate the cost into the budget you’re either given or are proposing.

Videos is no longer a luxury item. It should be a standard part of just about any marketing plan.

–Tony Gnau

Memorial Day Inspires Better Videos

Originally Posted: May 29th, 2012

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Yesterday was Memorial Day and it provides me with a perfect reason to share my all-time favorite commercial.

That’s right… commercial. A one-minute spot created by Budweiser that ran only once. It’s the 2003 Super Bowl ad titled, “Welcome Home.”

Here’s a few reasons why it’s a great example to learn from for anyone who’s producing videos…

  • there’s a surprise. The spot starts in an airport. It’s a familiar setting, but just when we the audience settle in to this “normal” scene we get hit with something completely out of the norm.
  • there’s no dialog. I come from a TV news background, so I’m all about sound bites and dialog. This spot is a great reminder that you don’t need either to create a video with impact. Sometimes images, natural sound, and music are all you need.
  • finally, this spot puts on display what video does better than any other medium. It stirs emotion. Video allows you to tap emotion and capture the viewer’s heart.

Not every video is going to be as powerful as this one. Heck, there are very few videos that will be as powerful as this one. However, the lessons learned from it can put you on a path to creating better videos… and that’s a benefit for us all.

–Tony Gnau